Rami Takes Over For Tommy

When Tommy Ghianuly died last month, longtime customers wondered about the future of Compo Center Barber Shop.

And they were concerned for Tommy’s longtime and well-respected employees,  Felice and Chau.

Not to worry. The 60-year-old business has a new owner. He’s a noted barber himself. He knows the Westport shop well. And he’s committed to keeping it going, without losing a step.

Today was the first day at work for Rami Pirov. But he’s no stranger to the narrow, photo-lined place nestled between Planet Pizza and CVS.

Rami Pirov, at the Compo Center Barber Shop today.

Twenty-five years ago Rami — a barber since age 12 — arrived in the US from his native Uzbekistan. He worked in Long Island and Manhattan. On the Upper East Side he cut the hair of famous athletes like Jorge Posada, Charlie Hayes, Tino Martinez and Mike Piazza.

Ten years ago, Rami started searching for a great barber shop to buy. People recommended Compo Center. He came to Westport, and liked everything about it: the location, clientele and vibe.

It was not for sale. But Rami gave Tommy his number, in case he ever wanted to retire or sell.

Two years ago, Rami called again. Tommy was recovering from surgery. His wife Carolyn saved the letter.

Recently, she gave it to Steve Siegelaub. He’s a real estate lawyer with Berkowitz, Trager & Trager — and, like Dick Berkowitz, a longtime loyal customer and friend of Tommy’s.

Carolyn wanted to make sure that Felice and Chau could keep working. She was glad the barber shop’s legacy could continue — for its customers, and the town.

Felice (left) and Chau (rear), continuing work at Compo Barbers.

The deal closed yesterday. Rami was at work today, as owner/operator. He’ll be open 7 days a week.

Right now, Rami — who is married, and has 4 sons — commutes from Queens. As soon as he can, he’ll move to Connecticut.

In the meantime, he welcomes customers: old and new.

Just like Tommy did.

7 responses to “Rami Takes Over For Tommy

  1. David Squires

    Great Story! Ain’t that the American Spirit!
    Best Luck to all!!!

  2. Fantastic news for Westport. Saving this iconic Westport institution is like mana from heaven.
    I am sure there will be no shortage of customers.

  3. Welcome to Westport!

  4. Joyce Barnhart

    Nice story, especially because Chau and Felice are still there.
    Just a note, Dan, since it’s 118 miles long, you might live in one of Long Island’s many towns, but you live ON Long Island, not IN it. At least that’s how the natives see it.

  5. Sally Campbell Palmer.

    Welcome to Westport! Big shoes to fill, but it sounds like you van do it.

  6. Don’t forget to mention my barber there, Tina!

  7. Fantastic news! I once told Tom that if he ever closed up shop I was leaving Westport. I didn’t quite mean it and wouldn’t have done it, but it’s great to know the place is carrying on. I look forward to meeting Rami.